The Murder of Melody Rohrer

Melody Rohrer

On September 20, 2021, Colby Martin, 29, purposely hit Melody Rohrer, 67, with his car, killing her. He then engaged in sexual acts with her remains.

Missing

Melody Rohrer was last seen between 8:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. on September 20, 2021, walking in the 84000 block of County Road 215, in Hamilton Township, Michigan. When she did not return, her husband, Richard Rohrer, went looking for her on paths she would frequent. He called her phone, but it was going straight to voicemail. He called the police to report her missing. Police originally thought she may have been injured on her walk and was in distress. They immediately started searching for her.  

Map of crime Souce: Daily Mail

Colby Martin Arrested

Police used surveillance footage to identify Colby Martin. On September 21, 2021, detectives spoke to Martin in the parking lot of a Walmart in Oshtemo Township. When they approached him, his 2013 Ford F-150 had obvious damage to it. Upon searching Martin, detectives determined he was in possession of Melody’s cell phone.

After detaining Martin for being in possession of Melody’s cellphone, police questioned him. Martin eventually told police he had hid Melody’s body in Purgatory State Park. Police found Melody’s body naked. Her cause of death was from blunt force trauma; the manner of death was homicide.

Charges  

Prosecutors originally charged Martin with vehicular manslaughter, failure to stop at a scene of a serious personal injury accident and concealing the death of an individual. A judge gave him was given $300,000 bail, which he paid the same day.

In January 2022, Martin violated the terms of his release when fentanyl was found in his system. He was arrested and given an additional $75,000 bail. Martin also paid this bail and was released again.

Investigation Continues

At the scene where Martin hit Melody, Police found pieces of a vehicle, a Ford emblem, a shoe, raincoat, and baseball cap. Investigators determined there were not any signs that Martin tried to slow down or break; Investigators did not find skid marks at the scene.

A detective looking into Melody’s phone location discovered a SIM card was placed into her phone after her husband reported her missing. Tracking the location of the phone pings, detectives could place Martin in the area where Melody’s remains were found.

Investigators continued to look into Martin and discovered his search history showed he looked up pornography that depicted dead or unconscious woman and rape. These searchers took place in August and September 2021.

 Martin went to a carwash to clean his car and dispose of evidence. Police would retrieve clothing and bloody paper towels from the carwash. Police also found condoms that had DNA belonging to Martin and Melody.

Investigators determined that Martin hit Melody, put her in his truck and took her to an undisclosed location where he had sexual intercourse with Melody’s body. He then put her body in the woods.

New Charges & Sentencing

On February 15, 2022, Martin was charged with open murder, homicide/manslaughter with a motor vehicle, failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death, and concealing the death of an individual. A judge denied giving Martin Bond on the open murder charge.

Martin’s current disposition is “pre-trial”. His next court date is June 20, 2022, at 3:00 p.m.

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